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Data protection terms explained

There are may words that are used when talking about data protection. This section is designed to help you understand what they mean.

Data Controller

Person or organisation who alone or jointly with others determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. Wiltshire council is registered as a Data Controller

Data Processor

Any person, other than employees of the data controller, who process data on behalf of the data controller

Data Subject

A natural person (living individual) who is the subject of personal data

Personal data

Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person


In relation to personal data, processing means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data, whether or not by automated means and includes all activities from collection and recording, through use to deletion, erasure or destruction

Special Category Data

Information relating to:

Racial or ethnic origin, sexual life or orientation, religious or philosophical beliefs, political opinions, membership of trade union, physical or mental health, genetic data, or biometric data used to identify individuals

Third party

Any person other than the data subject, the data controller or the data processor

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